I'd sooner book passage on a norovirus cruise than watch the Super Bowl, but I have become aware of a Coca-Cola commercial that aired during the event.
In the commercial, as Language Log points out, ethnically diverse images are displayed while "America the Beautiful" is sung in "languages including English, Spanish, Keres Pueblo, Tagalog, Hindi, Senegalese French, and Hebrew."
Not that anyone should be surprised, this display of diversity during one of the most sacred of the national rites touched off an outburst of anger and resentment from the yahoo population. Deadspin is one of the sites that collected a few choice specimens from Twitter. They display in equal proportions nativism ("This is America. We speak English here"), racism, and ignorance ("America the Beautiful" is not the national anthem).
You, knowing that I am a bolshie running dog of the East Coast liberal media establishment, probably expect me to go into full-deplore mode, but I am afraid I must disappoint. I find this ugly nativist/racist/ignorant display quite encouraging.
I understand Coca-Cola. I grew up in Kentucky and had by attaining the age of majority consumed so many hogsheads of it that the medicos at Johns Hopkins should be examining me to determine why I am not diabetic. I understand that in the pursuit of flogging unhealthy sugary beverages to as many customers as possible, Coca-Cola has no shame. It previously hijacked Santa Claus for its advertisements, and brags about having done so.
What this ethnically and linguistically diverse commercial tells me is that Coca-Cola has made a hard-headed calculation that diversity is where the customers are and will be. The corollary to that is that nativist white racists are not a significantly large component of the actual and potential customer base that Coke has to worry about truckling to them.
This implied message, that intolerant white people are on the losing side of demographics, is precisely the thing that whips them into a frenzy every time they are reminded of it. They are exceedingly noisy on the Internet, but on the decline nevertheless. That's encouraging news.